New Yorkers United for Justice (NYUJ) issued the following statement in response to a widely circulated proposal allegedly drafted by Governor Kathy Hochul’s office. The proposed changes would roll back several important criminal justice reforms, including recently enacted laws regarding bail, discovery, juvenile justice, and more:
“New Yorkers United for Justice (NYUJ) strongly opposes Gov. Hochul’s alleged proposal to roll back discovery reform, bail reform, Raise the Age, and other critical criminal justice legislation. The Coalition urges the legislature to stand firm and reject any shortsighted proposals that threaten to derail years of hard-won progress that has made our state safer and fairer.
The plan’s proposals are neither evidence-based, nor likely to reduce crime or recidivism. Instead, the changes would dismantle reforms that have made New York’s criminal legal system more just and fair. “Raise the Age” protects young people from unfair and outsize prosecution practices. Discovery reforms reduced the likelihood of wrongful convictions and violations of due process. Pretrial reforms eliminated for most minor and nonviolent crimes the use of cash bail, which disproportionately punished and incarcerated poor people and communities of color and diminished public safety.
Furthermore, with only two weeks left to go until the budget deadline, any such plan will not receive the level of scrutiny, evaluation, and debate needed for sensible, well-informed policymaking. This stands in stark contrast to when and how these laws were passed, which was a years-long process of rigorous research and consensus-building.
Our message is clear: We must not return to policies that enable mass incarceration. Every New Yorker who values safety and justice must outright reject the rollbacks in this proposal.”